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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10401
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I am interested in buying an online business. I found

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I am interested in buying an online business. I found something on a site that advertises lots of businesses for sale. I started speaking to someone about an online business. He said he worked on behalf of a company called Profit Ltd. His email address is an AOL one. One companies house the registered address for the company has changed a lot and sometimes it fluctuates back and forth between two addresses. The website doesn't list any team members and the registered address at the bottom on the webpage is a previously registered address. I really want to start a business but am worried this is a scam. How can I be sure it is genuine?

May we have as many details this business and the alleged selling agent as possible please? Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
PROFIT Ltd Companies House Registration Number 05732944. VAT number:###-##-####
Bank account Biz for Sale Ltd. sort code: 20-60-88. account number: 13267172. Barclays Bank Plc
Director name: ***** *****,***********Agents name: Nate Coombe,***********email addresses:***@******.*** (automated response only),*****@******.*** (agents email)
Sales agreement attached

The company was incorporated in 2006 and the accounts are not overdue which is a good sign.

I am concerned when a business has a website but the email address is a generic one such as, in this case, AOL.

You might be better off emailing them here

and speaking to them on the telephone directly.

Just because the business may be legitimate, doesn’t necessarily mean that the people that you have been dealing with are and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the bank account details you may have been given, to transfer any money to are actually the bank accounts of the business.

It also seems remarkably odd that the bank account is in the name of a different limited company, Biz for Sale, although perhaps it’s understandable because the registered office is the same one. This latter business was registered in 2010 and its accounts are up-to-date.

The Profit domain is owned by Best for Sale and was registered a long time ago, in 2005.

Provided you are actually dealing with the people work for the organisation, the business to seem to be a legitimate type business broker. However you must rely on your own enquiries because we have not carried out a full financial investigation, just the checks above.

Because of the amount of money involved, it might be worthwhile getting on the train and going to their office. You don’t want to part with money to someone who actually doesn’t work there!

What I can’t even comment on is whether the business idea model works or not but I did find this

which I emphasise is about the business model and not the organisation.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.


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